University of North Carolina officials claim that sophomore student Landen Gambill is being “disruptive” or “intimidating” to her alleged rapist by going public with her story of sexual assault, even though she has not publicly identified her rapist.
As a result, Gambill is being sent to the school’s “Honor Court” and may be expelled.
Gambill was originally part of a case against the school in which former University of North Carolina assistant dean of students Melinda Manning accused UNC of intentionally under-reporting cases of sexual assault. Gambill was one of three students providing evidence to support Manning’s case.
Gambill submitted a complaint to the U.S. Department of Education against UNC’s treatment of sexual assault victims, which she said “not only offensive and inappropriate, but they were so victim-blaming… They made it seem like my assault was completely my fault.”
According to Jezebel.com, Gambill received received an email from Elizabeth Ireland, the Graduate & Professional Schools Student Attorney General, on January 29th, who wrote that she "received a report of a possible violation of the Honor Code on which you are listed as the reporting party.
On February 22nd, Gambill received a formal accusation calling her in to the Honor Court:
Accordingly, you are being charged with the following Honor Code violation(s):
II.C.1.c. – Disruptive or intimidating behavior that willfully abuses, disparages, or otherwise interferes with another (other than on the basis of protected classifications identified and addressed in the University’s Policy on Prohibited Harassment and Discrimination) so as to adversely affect their academic pursuits, opportunities for University employment, participation in University-sponsored extracurricular activities, or opportunities to benefit from other aspects of University Life.
This decision was reached because the evidence provides a reasonable basis to believe that a violation of the Honor Code may have occurred. Please note that being charged with a violation does not imply guilt. It simply means that sufficient evidence of a possible violation exists to warrant a hearing before the Undergraduate Honor Court.
Gambill attended a preliminary Honor Court meeting where she asked if stating that she was raped could have broken the Honor Code. The Honor Court said "yes."
"This type of gross injustice is the reason why UNC students are speaking out and demanding answers," Landen told Jezebel.com. "The reason why I'm so vocal about this isn't because I just want justice for my case. I want to make sure no one else has to go through this if they want to report an assault to the university."